Protecting Trainer Voice

One of the main tools used by a trainer during the process of training is his own voice. It is thus essential that a trainer pays great attention to the health of his voice and his whole vocal apparatus.

Hot Drinks are Good

The most important thing a trainer can do to protect his voice is to have hot drinks once or twice throughout long training days. This helps relief the vocal apparatus and keep it functioning well during the training day. If having hot drinks during the training day was for some reason not possible then at least drinking plenty of water throughout the training day would be highly recommended. This helps keep the throat and the whole vocal apparatus well hydrated and lubricated. It is as if keeping the engine of a car running smoothly during long travels by making sure there is enough water for it to cool it down.

Cold Drinks are Bad

It is essential that the trainer never gets a cold drink right after the training session is over nor during the training day. This is like suddenly pouring cold water in an extremely hot glass thus resulting in its cracking and breaking. In extreme situations where the trainer does not have any hot drinks during training nor any water then gets cold drinks right after the long training session is over he might find his throat bleeding and himself spitting blood. I have learned this the hard way so try to guard against it by never ever consuming anything cold right after a long training session.

Do not Shout

Aside from keeping your body well hydrated with warm drinks, you also protect your voice by using it wisely during the training session. If there is a mic available, feel free to use it, particularly if you have many training sessions set up in a row during adjacent days. This helps save your voice way longer. Whether a mic is available or not, and whether you decide to use it or not, you should always attempt to maintain a balance between having all attendees hear you well and not shouting too loud in a way that harms your vocal apparatus on the long run. You should attempt to speak by pushing air out from the lower abdomen as if it is coming out of your stomach. This is similar to how singers train. It helps make your voice loud enough without straining your vocal apparatus.

During the training session you must also guard against shouting to trainees not only because this would be rude and generally inappropriate for the trainer to do but also because this single brief action may drain your vocal energy and strain it to the extent of causing temporary or partial damage to it.

Voice Change

A trainer who delivers training often, in particular if he does not use a mic, would find that his voice became loader. You can even get to know if a person you are meeting for the first time is a trainer/lecturer/public speaker or not from the strength and quality of his voice is.

Conclusion

The trainer’s voice is the #1 tool in the possession of the trainer. He must take great care in maintaining it, nourishing it and keeping it safe by hydrating it, lubricating it and keeping it warm as well as by not overusing it. A competent trainer would also make participants carry out a lot of activities and speak a lot during the training day thus drastically cutting down on the time during which the trainer himself is speaking.

In what other ways can a trainer help protect and maintain his voice?

Listening Skills of the Trainer

Listening Skills of Trainees and Trainer

In many soft skills training programs, such as communication skills training, the trainer works on developing the listening skills of trainees through various training activities one of which is the think and listen technique. It is even more essential that a trainer himself have exceptional communication skills on top of which are superior listening skills in order to perform well during any training program he is delivering.

Great listening skills are not a luxury but they are skills that any competent trainer cannot afford to do without. A competent trainer would make use of his exceptional listening skills in many occasions.

Buffering Multiple Trainee Questions

When a trainee asks a question then a second trainee asks another question and then a third asks yet another two or more questions a trainer with good listening skills would be able to listen to all those questions first and then start answering them in one go. This buffering of several questions in a row in the mind of the trainer allows him to link the answers of related questions with one another and provide the big picture in one continuous answer.

Sure providing such a combined answer for multiple trainee questions needs superior listening skills from the trainer. Using such question buffering technique also displays to participants the greatness of the trainer and the high professional level he has reached making them put even more trust in him and show even greater respect for him.

Absorbing the Agitated Trainee

Another case where superior listening skills would prove handy to the trainer is when one of the trainees attempts to provide a long passionate comment expressing his own opinion with vigor aiming at refuting something the trainer or another participant has been saying. If the trainer in such a case attempts to cut such participant short prematurely the trainee might become highly dissatisfied, may even hold a grudge, carry strong negative emotions and demonstrate a negative attitude throughout the rest of the training.

If, however, the trainer allowed such trainee to speak his heart out, while carefully listening to him and mentally analyzing what he is saying, the trainer would be able to let the steam out from such participant. This containment of the agitated trainee by the trainer can even result in highly positive emotions building up in the heart of that participant, towards the trainer and the training as a whole, which may show up by the end of the training program.

After such trainee has completed his long and passionate comment, the trainer can then start giving his comment on it in a calms and to-the-point manner. This would never have been possible had the trainer lacked superior listening skills.

Conclusion

Listening skills are one of the most important communication skills that a trainer must master way before attempting to improve them in his or her trainees.

What other training situations can you think of in which a trainer would benefit from having strong listening skills?